Peanut Butter Cinnamon Popcorn … err, sort of

You might recall a Divvies giveaway on this blog back in December, where I promised a popcorn post to come.  Well, I am a little slow, and it isn’t quite popcorn, at least not the version I made, but the recipe easily converts for popcorn fanatics.

You see, as a frugal foodie, I waste as little as possible.  And when the Lundberg Eco-Farmed Rice Cakes (I like those plain old unsalted ones) went on clearance for just $.50 a package, I bought two cases. That’s right, I wiped the store out of their leftover stock.  But with my affection for rice cakes, comes the continuous trail of rice cake crumbs.  It never fails that a few of those crispy wafers crumble, some just around the edges and some into oblivion.  So rather than snacking on those plain old crumbs, I save them up for just such an occasion!

The rice cake crumbs have the same texture as popcorn, so I find that this simple and frugal recipe is dual purpose for whichever medium you have on hand.  Of course, if you opt to upgrade the corn syrup to maple syrup (isn’t it rivaling the price of gold right now?) then the recipe won’t be quite so frugal, but the choice is up to you.

Either way, this stuff is perfectly sweet and made for snackin …

Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rice Cake Crumbles

Peanut Butter Cinnamon Popcorn (or Rice Cake Crumbles)

Yields 8 Servings

  • 1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup (best for frugality) or Maple Syrup (haven’t tried honey or agave, those may be good too)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar (white or brown, your choice)
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (creamy or chunky, your choice)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 Teaspoon Salt (omit if using salted popcorn or salted peanut butter)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 8 Cups Popcorn or Plain Rice Cake Crumbles

Preheat your oven to 250ºF.

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the syrup and sugar, stirring and cooking until the sugar is pretty well dissolved.  This should just take a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, salt (if using), and cinnamon.  If the peanut butter isn’t melting, place the pan back on the heat just long enough to coerce that peanut butter in.  Stir in the popcorn or rice cake crumbles until well coated with the pb mixture.  Spread the popcorn or crumbles out on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish, and pop them in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once, about mid-way through.

You can eat this snack without baking it, but crisping it up a bit gives the snack longevity for storage, melds the flavors a bit, and provides a nice crunch!